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E-Scooter Safety: Issues and Solutions (2022)

Chapter: Chapter 6 Stakeholder Practices, Gaps, and Safety Issues Identified

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 6 Stakeholder Practices, Gaps, and Safety Issues Identified." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. E-Scooter Safety: Issues and Solutions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26756.
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Page 17
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 6 Stakeholder Practices, Gaps, and Safety Issues Identified." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2022. E-Scooter Safety: Issues and Solutions. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/26756.
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17 areas. Of the 650 total responses received for this question, road user rules, restrictions, and other regulations was the most-selected topic, at 12%. Enforcement, incident management, and emergency response was the least-selected topic, receiving just 5% of the count. This disparity may reflect the makeup of survey participants, which included heavy participation by transportation planners but very little participation by those identifying as law enforcement or emergency response professionals. Due to the small number of responses for the section on enforcement, incident management, and emergency response, that category was excluded from the discussion of the relative ranking of practices presented in the following section. Within these practice areas, respondents were asked about a total of 70 unique practices. For each item, participants could choose responses along a six-point scale: 1. I don’t know/I’m not sure or not applicable. 2. Not a current practice. 3. There is interest, but not a current practice. 4. Planned but not yet in practice. 5. Practicing on occasion or starting to practice. 6. This is an established practice. The following section, presents a descriptive analysis of the survey data in terms of these categories of practice, highlighting reported practices relative to 10 practice areas (enforcement, incident manage- ment, and emergency response was excluded as a low-count group). Although some cities had multiple respondents, each respondent may have answered different sets of questions and offered different perspectives, so the research team did not collapse or withdraw any data pertaining to multiple responses for a given area. Established Practices, Nonpractices, and Practices of Interest Most-Reported Practices The 10 most-reported e-scooter safety management practices [on the basis of the frequency of responses of “planned,” “practicing/ starting to practice,” or “established practice” (Responses 4–6 listed above)] identified by survey participants are shown in Table 1. When the variation in the response rate to each question group is taken into account, more than 50% of respondents reported the majority of these items as planned, practicing, or established. This list of more established practices reported by survey partici- pants largely reflects what was found in the literature review, includ- ing pilot studies published to date. Rider and operator restrictions (speed, parking restrictions, sidewalk riding restrictions, device safety mandates, complaint line mandates) appear to be the predominant approach taken by the agencies participating in the study, often within the context of the permitting or vendor selection processes. Of the 70 items in the survey, geofencing was the most common approach reported in use. Another common practice identified was related to providing informational safety messaging, partnering with operators to deliver messages, and hosting community events. Survey participants also reported that the following were common practices: infrastructure planning (e.g., with regard to separated bike lanes or other dedicated space for micromobility riders), equity A 2020 study that reviewed e-scooter injury records from two trauma centers in Indianapolis noted that the institutions used a mix of ICD-10-CM codes for electric scooter injuries prior to the study, including the following (Puzio et al. 2020): • V00–V09: Pedestrian injured in transport accident. • V10–V19: Pedal cycle rider injured in transport accident. • V20–V29: Motorcycle rider injured in transport accident. After the study, the researchers adopted the following specific codes to track future e-scooter injuries (Puzio et al. 2020): • V00.181: Fall from other rolling-type pedestrian conveyance. • V00.182: Pedestrian on other rolling-type pedestrian conveyance colliding with stationary object. • V00.188: Other accident on other rolling-type pedestrian conveyance. Moving toward standardized use of ICD-10-CM codes in the 2021 update will greatly aid research efforts to understand the number, characteristics, and severity of e-scooter injuries and to compare inju- ries across communities. It will also require significant efforts to stan- dardize coding and educate hospitals and trauma centers on which codes to use for which circumstances. CHAPTER 6 STAKEHOLDER PRACTICES, GAPS, AND SAFETY ISSUES IDENTIFIED Survey Participants and Program Types Another core component of this research was a survey of transpor- tation policy stakeholders. The survey recorded 207 respondents in total; of these, 85 participants completed the survey, 12 completed more than half of the survey, and 110 completed less than half of the survey. Surveys with partial completion were included in the analysis. A total of 141 survey respondents provided information about their professional backgrounds. Transportation planning or urban/ regional planning made up 46% of these responses. Others included educators, researchers, and administrators. Additionally, 145 of the survey respondents provided information about the type of organiza- tion they worked for at the time of completing the survey. Of these, 46% reported working for a local government and 14% reported working for a state government. Others worked at research or advo- cacy organizations. Information on the state in which they worked was provided by 145 respondents. Three reported being outside the United States while 142 were located in 38 states and the District of Columbia. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics’ downloadable data set includes records for 1,450 e-scooter and bikeshare programs in the United States from January 2015 to August 2020. Using this data as a benchmark of all known micromobility programs in the United States, the researcher team found that states such as California, Florida, and Massachusetts appeared to be undersampled in the survey population, while states such as North Carolina, Oregon, and Washington appeared to be oversampled. The survey asked participants to select the safety practices that they would most like to respond to and were the most familiar with, and subsequent question blocks were displayed only for the selected practice areas. Participants could choose multiple practice

18 When the variation in response rates to each question group is taken into account, more than 50% of respondents reported the majority of these items as not a practice or as unknown/unsure/ not applicable. Of all 70 items in the questionnaire, “limiting motor vehicle speed limits in e-scooter service areas” was identified as the least- used practice, according to both the frequency and the percent- age of responses. This finding was unexpected, given that speed planning, and equity assessments in examining infrastructure, opera- tions, and maintenance programs. Least-Reported Practices The 10 least-reported e-scooter safety management practices [on the basis of the frequency of responses of “not a current practice” or “unknown/not sure/not applicable” (Responses 1 and 2 listed above)] identified by survey participants are shown in Table  2. TABLE 1 Ten Most-Reported E-Scooter Safety Management Practices in Survey QUESTION GROUP ITEM PLANNED, OCCASIONAL, OR ESTABLISHED PRACTICES (N ) TOTAL NO. % 6: Programs and Policies Utilizing geofencing in areas where e-scooter riding is not permitted 42 52 81 4: Rider Restrictions Setting maximum speeds for e-scooter devices 39 57 68 4: Rider Restrictions Establishing e-scooter parking requirements or rules 38 57 67 4: Rider Restrictions Prohibiting e-scooter usage on sidewalks 38 57 67 6: Programs and Policies Clarifying or unifying the legal status of micromobility devices in your state/region 35 53 66 5: Operator Restrictions Establishing requirements for responding to user feedback/ community complaints 34 51 67 5: Operator Restrictions Mandating that operators send in-app messages related to safety rules and regulations 33 51 65 5: Operator Restrictions Mandating safety or accessibility features or equipment on e-scooters (e.g., seats, lights, reflectors) 32 51 63 6: Programs and Policies Considering traffic safety concerns when defining e-scooter service areas 32 52 62 8: Communications and Messaging Providing informational materials regarding e-scooter rules and regulations 32 43 74 TABLE 2 Ten Least-Reported E-Scooter Safety Management Practices in Survey QUESTION GROUP ITEM NOT A CURRENT PRACTICE OR UNKNOWN/UNSURE/ NOT AVAILABLE (N ) TOTAL NO. % 4: Rider Restrictions Limiting motor vehicle speed limits in e-scooter service areas 48 56 86 6: Programs and Policies Providing incentives or bonuses to operators for safety performance 39 51 76 4: Rider Restrictions Implementing time restrictions for e-scooter operations (e.g., nighttime curfews) 35 57 61 6: Programs and Policies Funding one or more dedicated staff positions for safety program management and coordination 34 52 65 2: Infrastructure Adjusting signal timing/operations to account for e-scooters 32 34 94 6: Programs and Policies Funding helmet distribution efforts 31 52 60 4: Rider Restrictions Mandating first-time e-scooter rider training 30 57 53 3: Markings and Maintenance Identifying and addressing e-scooter roadside hazards such as grates, manhole covers, and stationary roadside objects 27 41 66 3: Markings and Maintenance Modifying maintenance schedules to improve debris clearance 26 41 63 7: Engagement and Outreach Including e-scooter safety education in driver training programs 25 40 63

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Many communities with electric‐scooter (e‐scooter) programs have observed social, health, and environmental benefits; enhanced multimodal connections; and positive economic impacts (such as those derived by delivery services and couriers using e‐scooters and the resultant jobs created). However, these effects are often accompanied by real and perceived safety challenges.

The TRB Behavioral Transportation Safety Cooperative Research Program's BTSCRP Research Results Digest 1: E-Scooter Safety: Issues and Solutions is an initial deliverable to a larger ongoing project, in the form of a literature review, that identifies emerging behavioral safety issues arising from the expanding use of e-scooters and summarizes how cities are working to prevent and mitigate injuries.

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